Skip to main content

Reply to this post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: Capt. Cook Date: Jun 5, 2009 7:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

Boy, I would miss out on a lot of great tunes, but set me down on some paradise with a box full of 10/13 or 2/02 or yea, I think I get the magic and I could survive on incredible spaces of transitory bliss just listening to the melodies cascading into a New Potato Caboose or a Caution. This seems to my ears the very peak of their primal territory so suddenly overwhelmed by the meloncholy flowers of silver threads and golden needles. Ah, the insane madness of The Eleven, crashing like light and dark waves upon the undulating dance floor...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Arck Date: Jun 6, 2009 7:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

I've been wondering about this myself. I listened to early 1968 exclusively for several months because of the RTV2N2 release: that, DP22, DS6, the stuff on So Many Roads, as well as various Grateful Dead Hours and some Taper's Section (not to mention the bootlegs). It is so intense, wild and possessed. I had to stop because I was becoming obsessed with it all and am listening to March-May 1977 to prepare myself for the Hartford release (which I still haven't listened to).

I'm finding myself enjoying the 1977 stuff but it seams so tame...or mature...or just more staid than the 1968 stuff. It's a lot more refined and the band has so much more control over where it goes but the sense of adventure seems lacking in comparison with the 1968 stuff. Some of those jams in early 68 are not really from this planet - they're almost always on the brink of going cosmic and not coming back. Even DS6 from March is, in my opinion, more focussed and less extreme than the January and February stuff.

By August things are far more controlled, although they're much more sophisticated too. 12 October just sums it all up - that really is an absolutely stunning show. The Dark Star in it may be one of the best they ever played and the subtlety in it would have been unthinkable in the first third of the year.

Ahhh 1968. Yeah maybe I should just stick to it. It's amazing to think these guys could be this electric and still be playing decades later. I'm amazed that it didn't burn all of them out. I guess some would argue that it did burn them out and I'd agree that they probably never returned to that zone of energy but I think they needed to back off from the accelerator to learn to play with a gentler more thoughtful touch.

Good times.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: light into ashes Date: Jun 6, 2009 1:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

Good description of '68....anything after '68 is pretty tame!
But 1967 is, if anything, even more high-energy....shows like 5/5, 6/18, 8/4/67....totally off the charts! The missing gaps in 1968 recordings are heartbreaking enough, but the huge holes in 1967 are even worse - only about a dozen shows are available from that year. Just imagine, something like 9/3/67 might have been an *average* show for summer '67.... Sigh.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: spacedface Date: Jun 7, 2009 7:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

3-18-67 is a prize. I hadn't been to '67 for years and expected only to like Viola but there's a whole show with good audio quality and it is wild. Dancing and Cream Puff are trippy.

http://www.archive.org/details/gd67-03-18.sbd.fink.10282.sbeok.shnf

Also, the Cream Puff and Dancin' in here are other good ones, what a friend calls their Arabian style:
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1966-11-19.sbd.miller.94106.sbeok.flac16

This post was modified by spacedface on 2009-06-08 02:03:12

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: cream-puff-war Date: Jun 7, 2009 7:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

yes, look at the high energy not only of the band at this free show for the Columbia Students on May 3, 1968:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_rrw6uYHTA

but in the audience as well...
the jaw dropping at 1:03...
the young boy banging on Mickey Hart's high hat...

and btw, the mystery of what they were actually playing (in at least part of this footage) could be solved by a musician who takes a close look at the frames from about 0:38 through 0:42, where we get a clear if brief view of Weir, Lesh and Garcia fingering their fretboards.

Try to recreate what they're doing, and that should reveal the answer to the mystery!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: light into ashes Date: Jun 7, 2009 12:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

Professionally filmed, it's a shame there isn't more.... I don't think it's a clip of one song though, they probably took random shots from throughout the event.
But at 1:05, is that Lesh singing while Garcia plays chords?? Too blurry for me to tell for sure.

A good soundtrack would be the Alligator from 5/18/68!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Styrofoam Cueball Date: Jun 7, 2009 7:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

I was just listening to 3/18/67... it's everything spacedface says it is. The sound quality is all over the place, but that's 1967 for ya.

This post was modified by Styrofoam Cueball on 2009-06-08 02:18:57

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 6, 2009 7:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

Where have I heard this before?

Well done.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: deadmax Date: Jun 5, 2009 8:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

Glad to have you. Pays to leave that ole light on.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 6, 2009 7:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

Hey...I thought you were stuck in 71...

Good to know we can still be web friends since anyone that loves 68 can't be all bad. Just 4.29% worth I suppose.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: deadmax Date: Jun 6, 2009 8:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

Yeah, I had to 86 one of those threads. Just didn't go anywhere, if you know what I mean.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 6, 2009 9:09am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

Oooohh--that's good! At first I thought you were playing with "68" (as in "86" reversed)...but then...yep, I may be a whacko Luddite with Logical Positivist inclinations, but I am not that dumb. Well...okay. Maybe.

You don't think I drove off GoP do you? I was having a hard time figuring out when he really wanted to debate something (not the song, just the philosophy) and when he was just joking and when he was pissed (at least I think he ended up pissed off...not sure).

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: deadmax Date: Jun 6, 2009 3:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

Well, it's only a debate if you find new ways to make your point.

Also if there is someone else debating.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 6, 2009 3:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

That's for sure...guess I won "master debater" but not sure it gets me anywhere.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: deadmax Date: Jun 6, 2009 7:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

It was all fun and no one was ever pissed off I can assure you. Now if you were trying to piss someone off then I'm sorry.

BTW, I listened to 8/6 H2H tonight with two 14-year-olds. Most constructive comment was, "longest song eh-verrrrrrr". So there you have it.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 6, 2009 9:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

Ha--well, to be honest, it was never about the song for me, as these exchanges rarely are. Not that I don't think we can't do that, and in fact, that was an important aspect of it (the "principle" of serious consideration, judgement, etc. which seemed to so bother GoP). The humor, which was great--I thought both sides had some great back and forth--was there, but what baffled me was on a significant issue, such as PM vs Realism, or Relativism vs Positivism, blah, blah, blah, it would seem to get under someone's skin, and yet when addressed seriously would be mocked, or derided. Now, that's fine if it was all straight up humor, but at times it seemed I was getting mixed messages...trust me, not from you.

This web based communication always leaves me wondering if I am coming off as a complete ass cause I think I often mis-interpret what folks are presenting as critique when they were just being flip or attempting humor, etc. I am sure I fail in the same regard.

Oh well, no biggie...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: huntr Date: Jun 5, 2009 8:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

IN

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Jun 5, 2009 8:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

Welcome to our club!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: ducats Date: Jun 6, 2009 5:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

is it possible that at the time PIG was the leader of the band?

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 6, 2009 7:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

Not if Sputnik has anything to do with it...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: light into ashes Date: Jun 6, 2009 12:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

By '68 Pigpen was already getting phased out to some extent....

In '65/66 Pigpen was the main 'frontman', in image at least; as far as singing the songs, Garcia may have been more the leader of the band, but the r&b stuff they started out with was Pigpen's home for sure.
Trouble for him was, in '67 they started doing all these jam-songs and phasing out the old covers, so Pigpen didn't have many songs left to do in a show - fortunately they also added Lovelight & Alligator, so he'd have at least two big pieces in each show for the next few years.
'68 saw him at kind of a low ebb in the band, he starts out the year contributing a lot of keyboard as he'd been doing, then sort of gets quieter later in the year, until they kicked him out for a while and put in Tom Constanten instead.
So starting '69 we have him restricted pretty much to a couple set-closers, a couple blues - they were such huge pieces though, that's still like half the show, so folks in the audience would still see him as a co-frontman, if not the most important guy in the band. Later in the year they started adding more r&b stuff again, like Hard to Handle & Good Lovin' & Easy Wind, so that added a lot more variety & toughness to the band's setlist for a couple years.

I'm probably overstating Pigpen's restricted role in the band - in '65/66, as Garcia & early fans have said, people saw him as the most talented guy in the band and the most natural leader; and no doubt even in '71 lots of folks would wait anxiously through a show for him to come out & do Lovelight or Caution again....

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 6, 2009 12:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

You really do know this shit...well summarized as usual. You're getting to be like the 60s Celtics when it comes to Credenza Awards around here; you have so many and nobody else ever comes close...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: ducats Date: Jun 6, 2009 12:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

so it sounds like you would agree with me that PIG was the first leader of the band - with the fat man being the second and last?

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: light into ashes Date: Jun 6, 2009 3:33pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

Actually, I think the whole idea of the band was there wasn't a "leader"....it was supposed to be a democracy.
Which is not to say it always worked that way. Jerry, by virtue of having the strongest personality & musical drive, was easily going to be ahead of the others in the early days, even if he tried not to be bossy. Phil turned out to be both ambitious & bossy, so you could say by '68 he and Jerry were co-leaders.
Pigpen? I don't know how the band came across in '65....we don't have any recordings til Nov '65 (not very representative), nothing live til '66 - and in early '66, they're very primitive, but improving very quickly - so it's hard to imagine what they were like in mid-'65. Anyway, in '66, Pigpen doesn't really have the "main" role in the band, whatever he was doing on all the Stones covers in '65.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Styrofoam Cueball Date: Jun 7, 2009 11:45am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

I was thinking about this 'leader' stuff while listening to 10/29/77 (AKA "Grendel's Choice, Vol. 1") the other night. While Jerry wasn't the 'leader' per se, as far as onstage playing goes (especially in the latter days) if he starts getting 'excited' in his playing, the rest of the band ALWAYS responds and starts playing harder, tighter and more interestingly. No one else in the band ever propelled them in this way, even Kreutzmann.

In the early days, when Pig starts going nuts vocally, this also seems to provide that same sort of 'rising to the next level' feeling that I am feebly trying to describe here, but only once in a while. Jerry did this all the time, he starts noticeably getting into it, and everyone follows. Does that make any sense? :\

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Liamfinnegan Date: Jun 7, 2009 8:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

Grendel's Choice- Now that is a funny one!!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Styrofoam Cueball Date: Jun 7, 2009 10:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

I actually have this show labeled "Grendel's Choice" in my GD collection, as numbers tend to boggle my mind. If it weren't for him, I never would have known about this show and it's awesome NFA/Black Peter (which I'm listening to again right now!) :)

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 7, 2009 1:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

Not sure...would have had to see them all to gauge the interactions. Certainly we have talked about the great back and forth between Jerry and PP (MHr: "that's it...play your guitar!"), BUT what always struck me about the DEAD from 74 to 82 is that they literally could've have been cardboard cut-outs on stage for how little "life" they had in them...seriously.

For most all of my friends that I tried (and succeeded for about 40%) to "turn on" this was the one thing they harped on ("they are so lifeless!" "are they just old??" "why don't they get excited?", etc., etc.). There were occasional exceptions, but in general, you couldn't have guessed anyone had any impact on anyone else on stage if your life depended on it...other than rare glimpses and nods to one another...

I overstate the case, but only slightly.

When my friends would see the Who, or Police, or even Stones, they would come back talking about people jumping around on stage, etc.

I actually used to retort that the lack of interaction was indicative of how seriously they focused on the music...like BBKing sitting down or what have you...

Not saying that it should have been one way or the other, but the early era banter, feedback (when they are moving to and from amps/speakers/etc) and the rest made them seem so much more alive...

And, gives me a sense you could imagine one feeding off the other...

Also, love that "Grendel's Choice" morsel!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: light into ashes Date: Jun 7, 2009 2:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

I recall reading fans of the "early days" who went to see the Dead in late '71 or '72 and complained about how lifeless the band was all of a sudden, compared to how they'd been before.... Keith must be the culprit!
Well, it must have been gradual...playing larger venues, more distant crowds, Pigpen fading out, the music getting more countryfied. The main difference you can hear on the tapes is how much less banter there is in '72.

Of course, there's not really a correlation between a peppy demeanor and fiery music....after all, if you watch films of one of your favorites, Clapton in Cream, all he does is stand there, maybe grimace sometimes, hardly even nods to the audience.....but that guitar howls.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Styrofoam Cueball Date: Jun 8, 2009 10:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

Energy isn't necessarily represented by jumping around on stage. Look at early live Beatles concerts, where they do "Twist And Shout". You'd think John would be jumping around like a maniac, considering his paint-peeling vocal on that number, but he barely moves his head, much less his butt. Yet we hear all this incredible energy and aggression in the vocal. Same goes for the Dead: you might just see them standing still, but what you're hearing is some incendiary The Eleven that is taking off like a Sabre jet... :)

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Jun 6, 2009 5:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

You may end up like our friend Will Tell

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 6, 2009 7:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

I'll take that as a complement.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: GennyBenni Date: Jun 6, 2009 9:02am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

a complement to what?

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 6, 2009 9:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What If I Only Listened To 1968?

How about immunologically speaking?

"Complement: A complex system of proteins found in normal blood plasma that combines with antibodies to destroy pathogenic bacteria and other foreign cells"

That's it! Think of me as that blob of loose fitting proteins looking for pathogenic (= nonearly era sorts) foreign bodies in need of re-education or outright destruction.